Plot: Lance (Patric Knowles) is has been behaving strangely of late, especially when he is sleeping, of all times. He sleepwalks and gets into some unusual scenarios, including one instance where he wandered through town in his pajamas, only to be woken up with a crowd of pedestrians around him. In order to get his mind back on track, Lance is taken to a hospital ward where he can be observed and with some help, return to a more normal sleep schedule. He will also have some good company during his visit, as his girlfriend Sara (Ann Sheridan) is a nurse on the ward, so their perky romance can continue to blossom. But things take an unexpected turn when a string of murders unfolds in the hospital, which puts everyone on guard and trust begins to run low even between the closest friends…

Entertainment Value: This 30s potboiler is by no means a classic, but it has some fun moments and with a run time of under an hour, The Patient in Room 18 doesn’t wear out its welcome. The narrative is simple, but memorable in some small ways, mostly dealing with some silliness that crops up, such as the oddball introduction to Lance. So a mix of ridiculous comedy and murder mystery, not a common blend, but it provides some minor fun, I think. I also appreciated how prominent characters and story threads would come and go as the narrative needed, so things don’t always make sense and there’s some strong b movie vibes. This means those after a serious, intricate mystery might be let down, but those who appreciate somewhat odd mysteries, complete with slightly off kilter finales, shouldn’t pass this one up. As I said, The Patient in Room 18 might not be a good movie in the usual sense, but it has enough wackiness and is brisk enough to sneak by with a recommendation.

The cast in this one is fine, but there’s not a wealth of star power or any real dynamic, standout performances. Ann Sheridan is likely the marquee name here and she benefits from the lighter tone, as it lets her personality carry her turn. She is bright and fun to watch, even if her thespian skills aren’t tested much and she seems content to just let her charisma shoulder the load. Patrick Knowles handles his role well also, while he and Sheridan have some solid chemistry in most scenes. The banter between them is rock solid and has some of the movie’s best moments, while Knowles’ work in the opening scene is a lot of fun. Also of note is Charles Trowbridge, who steals some scenes and adds a lot to the overall picture. The cast also includes Eric Stanley, Rosella Towne, John Ridgely, and Vickie Lester.

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